Vijaya Vittala Temple and Stone Chariot of Hampi
After spending a spectacular morning at Sanapur lake, we headed towards the very famous Vijaya Vittala temple of Hampi.
Vijaya Vittala temple
Vijaya Vittala temple is the most spectacular and the must-visit temple of Hampi. This temple houses the world-renowned marvel “Stone Chariot” and musical pillars which attract huge crowds from around the world. The temple is about 22 km from Sanapura lake and we reached at 11 AM. The vehicle entry near the temple complex is banned to protect it from pollution. One has to stop the vehicle in the parking lot which is about 1 km from the temple and need to take the battery-operated vehicle or bus service to go to the temple. The ticket price for this service is 20 Rs/person. You can even opt for walking if you are okay with getting sunburned and immune to enormous dust. One of the advantages of walking from parking lot to the temple is that you get to explore Gejjala Mandapa, Kudure Bombe Mantapa, and Vittala Bazar.
- Opening hours: 10 AM to 5.30 PM
- Entrance fee: 30 Rs (This ticket is valid for both Zenana closure and Vittala temple if used on the same day)
This masterpiece of the Vijayanagara dynasty was built around 15th century AD during the reign of King Devaraya II (1422 – 1446 AD). Several portions of the temple were expanded and enhanced during the reign of Krishnadevaraya (1509 – 1529 AD). The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Vittala. As soon as you enter the temple complex, you would be mesmerized with its huge area containing architectural marvels.
The stone chariot kept in front of the temple attracts you like a magnet and you cannot miss striking a pose with this precious monument. The temple built in the form of the chariot is the proof of supreme craftsmanship of the Vijayanagara empire. This is one of the only three famous stone chariots in India, the other two being in Konark and Mahabalipuram. It is believed that the wheels of this stone chariots used to be rotated during olden days. The art sculpted on this chariot is truly a treat for eyes.
The temple complex has many pillared Mandapas with extremely well-carved pillars. The most important among them is the main Mandapam which has musical pillars. It contains 56 musical pillars, 40 of which are regularly disposed to form an aisle while the remaining 16 form a rectangular court in the center. When you gently tap them, it emits soothing musical notes, hence the name. Very unfortunately, we could not witness this unique phenomenon as the main Mandapam was under renovation and public entry was restricted. It was a great disappointment for us to travel till Hampi from Bengaluru and not being able to see musical pillars from close. We visited the other main attractions – the Amman shrine, 100 pillared halls, and the marriage hall. We spent a lot of time appreciating the monuments and then left at 12.15 PM.
A little walk from the Vittala temple complex is the King’s balance. We did not find this a very interesting attraction. It consists of a 12 feet stone beam at a height of 15 feet supported by long granite pillars. It looks more like an archway now. However, in olden days, the balance was used by the king to weigh himself with gold, gems, silver, and precious stones and distributed to the temple priests on certain occasions like Solar or Lunar eclipse, New Year’s Day, Coronation day, etc.
We waited for the battery-operated car at the Vittala temple complex for about 15 mins and reached the parking lot at 12.45 PM. Then, we headed towards the Mango Tree restaurant of Kamalapura for lunch.
You can also watch our detailed video on visit to Vijaya Vittala Temple here:
|Route travelled: Sanapur Lake > Vijaya Vittala Temple|
|Photos: HAMPI – Day 2 Album|